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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Jan 29, 2014 12:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger's 90th b'day bash at MSG was glorious


When legendary folk singer, banjo player, storyteller, and political and environmental activist Pete Seeger turned ninety, more than 18,000 people packed New York’s Madison Square Garden for a night of music in his honor. The concert was also a benefit for an environmental group Seeger founded to preserve the Hudson River, the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.

The all-star lineup included Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Ani DiFranco, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Billy Bragg, Ruby Dee, Steve Earle, Arlo Guthrie, Guy Davis, Dar Williams, Michael Franti, Béla Fleck, Tim Robbins, Dave Matthews, Rufus Wainwright, John Mellencamp, Ben Harper, and Ritchie Havens.

Remembering Folk Icon, Activist Pete Seeger in His Own Words & Songs

Pete Seeger

"I’m of the opinion now that if the human race makes it — I say we’ve got a 50-50 chance — if the human race makes it, it’ll be women working with children, these two very large oppressed classes in the human race. Children, doing what the grownups say they’re supposed to do, and yet they’re going to have to pay for our mistakes. They’re going to have to clean up the environment, which had been filled with chemicals, the air being filled with chemicals, the water being filled with chemicals, the ocean being filled with chemicals. And they’re going to have to clean it up. And I think it will be women working with kids that’ll do this job." - Pete Seeger quote from July 3, 2006

"Long live teachers of children" - Pete Seeger
This Land Is Your Land

Neil Young

Neil Young addresses Farmers Union Conference in Washington D.C. on September 10, 2013

When Neil Young speaks about the Alberta tar sands, hey says: “It’s like Hiroshima.”

As an environmentalist and a son of Canada, it was only a matter of time before Neil Young weighed in on the Alberta tar sands, the country’s largest and fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Addressing the U.S. National Farmers Union Conference in Washington, D.C., Young riffed on the planned talking points — alternative fuels — before redirecting attention to Fort McMurray, Alberta:

"The fact is, Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima. Fort McMurray is a wasteland. The Indians up there and the native peoples are dying. The fuels all over — the fumes everywhere — you can smell it when you get to town. The closest place to Fort McMurray that is doing the tar sands work is 25 to 30 miles out of town and you can taste it when you get to Fort McMurray. People are sick. People are dying of cancer because of this.

All the First Nations people up there are threatened by this. Their food supply is wasted. Their treaties are no good. They have the right to live on the land, like they always did, but there’s no land left that they can live on. All the animals are dying. This is truly a disaster, and America is supporting this." - Neil Young

Jerry Garcia

Richard Nixon's campaign commercial from 1968 features Captain Trips

Dear Trixie Garcia:

Your father was a great man. It's true. He was one of America's greatest artists, musicians and songwriters. But Jerry was much bigger than the Grateful Dead. Please write and share about Jerry's and GD's environmental work. Nixon correctly picked out Jerry (and GD) as being America's most famous counterculture artist, aside from Pete Seeger. Please, I am urging you, would you be so kind as to write and post a few things about this? I have connected a few things for you. Nice job on producing Jerry's Story. Thank You!

On Tuesday, September 13, 1988, Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, and Mickey Hart from the Grateful Dead, as well as Dr. Jason Clay, the director of Cultural Survival, Peter Bahouth, the Chairman of Greenpeace USA, and Randall Hayes, the Director of the Rainforest Action Network, sat down at the panel in conference room four of the United Nations and alerted the world's press to the horror of the vanishing rain forest.

Grateful Dead's Rain Forest Benefit show was played on Sept 24, 1988 at Madison Square Garden
(photo credit: image archives at Rhino GDP's dead-dot-net)

When asked why the Grateful Dead was getting into the act and helping to publicize the plight of the rainforest, Jerry Garcia answered in his own inimitable style, "It seems pathetic that it has to be us, with all the other citizens of the planet, and all the other resources out there, but since no one else is doing anything about it, we don't really have any choice."

A dozen years earlier, when the Greenpeace mission had expanded from protesting nuclear proliferation to also include stopping commercial whaling, Country Joe McDonald not only played at a send-off concert for a Greenpeace ship in Vancouver in 1976, but he also dedicated his hit single "Save the Whales" to Greenpeace. The next year, when one of the Greenpeace ships, the James Bay, was docked in San Francisco and had no means to get back out on the high seas to continue chasing the whaling fleets, a group of Greenpeacers went to see Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, who was playing with the Jerry Garcia Band in Berkeley.

When the Greenpeacers laid out their dilemma to Jerry -- they needed $10,000 to fuel up the ship and buy provisions -- he was immediately open to the idea of doing a benefit concert. Five days later, on August 12th, 1977, the Jerry Garcia Band stood right there on San Francisco’s Pier 31, in front of the James Bay, and played to a sold-out crowd. The concert raised $20,000, and the James Bay sailed out of port on August 19, headed back out to help save the whales.

Taking direct action is what Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead did well

"Polluters are not patriots. They do not love their countries, their families, their wives, sons, and daughters. They are criminals guilty of sabotage and treason. They pollute the air, water, and land they and their families depend upon down to nth generations for sustenance. One cannot say with any credibility that one loves one's family or country if one willingly, consciously, pollutes the very air we breathe. Pitiful." - comments by Lute Song in response to the NY Times news article posted Jan 16, 2014: U.N. Says Lag in Confronting Climate Woes Will Be Costly

re: Nuclear Energy - the Fukushima Nuclear Plant disaster is a "three-reactor-meltdown"

- I'm proud to be an American Dead-Head and tell my taping story.

- Wedge between Community and Deadheads is done on purpose for brainwashing, dividing, and conquering!

After I converted to cowboy in 1973, the Grateful Dead, Bear, Alembic and Ampex built me. I'm a free man today and I'll proudly take these values to my grave. Now I've shared them. That's the least I could do. Thank you. Peace. Out. Old tapers never die, they just slowly not fade away.

This post was modified by Monte B Cowboy on 2014-01-29 20:29:17

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Jan 29, 2014 10:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Pete Seeger

For Immediate Release • Jan 28, 2014
from The White House • Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by the President on the Passing of Pete Seeger

Once called “America’s tuning fork,” Pete Seeger believed deeply in the power of song. But more importantly, he believed in the power of community – to stand up for what’s right, speak out against what’s wrong, and move this country closer to the America he knew we could be. Over the years, Pete used his voice – and his hammer – to strike blows for worker’s rights and civil rights; world peace and environmental conservation. And he always invited us to sing along. For reminding us where we come from and showing us where we need to go, we will always be grateful to Pete Seeger. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Pete’s family and all those who loved him.

Pete Seeger's banjo

"A Silent Coup": Jeremy Scahill & Bob Herbert on Corporate, Military Interests Shaping Obama’s SOTU
Democracy Now - Jan 29, 2014 - a daily independent global news hour

Jeremy Scahill is producer and writer of the Oscar-nominated documentary "Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield" and senior investigative reporter at First Look Media, which will launch in the coming months. Bob Herbert is a distinguished senior fellow with Demos.

AMY GOODMAN: Let’s talk about international trade policy and how that relates.

In his State of the Union [yesterday], President Obama also sought fast-track authority to give lawmakers an up-or-down vote on the trade deals such as TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: When 98 percent of our exporters are small businesses, new trade partnerships with Europe and the Asia-Pacific will help them create even more jobs. We need to work together on tools like bipartisan trade promotion authority to protect our workers, protect our environment, and open new markets to new goods stamped "Made in the U.S.A." Listen, China and Europe aren’t standing on the sidelines. And neither should we.

AMY GOODMAN: That was President Obama in his fifth State of the Union address. We just returned from Japan, Bob Herbert. There, there’s a huge discussion about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Here, most people, if you asked them, they wouldn’t even know what it is.

BOB HERBERT: Well, one of the things that’s a problem in this country is because the economic situation has been so stagnant for most people for so long and because the government has been—the government in Washington has been so dysfunctional, that Americans have really tuned out. And also, I don’t think that the press has done a good job at all on trade agreements, if you go all the way back to NAFTA in the 1990s. So people essentially don’t even understand these agreements. But what they do understand is that they have not been helpful to the vast majority of workers over all these years. So...

JEREMY SCAHILL: Can I just make a comment?

AMY GOODMAN: Jeremy Scahill.

JEREMY SCAHILL: I mean, you know, what Obama was doing there—in his last major address that he gave, he—at the United Nations General Assembly, he laid out this sort of forceful defense of American empire, and even went so far as to say that the U.S. will use its military might to continue to secure energy resources. In this speech, it was a pretty forceful defense of a neoliberal economic agenda. And, you know, what Bob is saying about corporations resonates on a foreign policy level, as well.

What is widely being considered to be the most moving part of last night was when this U.S. Army Ranger was addressed in the crowd and who was severely wounded and had done 10 tours. Think about that for a moment—10 tours in these war zones. You know, this young American spent his entire adult life in these combat zones. And, you know, the issue of how veterans are treated in this country is one thing, but at the end of the day, did he benefit from these wars? Does the average American benefit from the continuation of these wars? No. Who benefits? That’s the most important question we all have to ask. It’s corporations.


JEREMY SCAHILL: War corporations, the Halliburtons of the world, the Boeings. John Kerry, yesterday it was announced, is giving these awards for corporate excellence around the world. He’s giving them to Citibank, to Apache, to Boeing, to Coca-Cola. And so you have this neoliberal economic agenda, which is sort of the hidden hand, in many ways, of the U.S. empire, and then you have this iron fist of U.S. militarism that is being sold to the American public, and increasingly to the world, as national security policy.

And so, you know, when I see that Army Ranger who’s wounded like that, the first thing that just occurs to me is: Who has benefited from all of this? When corporations control our political process in this country through a legalized form of corruption that’s called campaign finance, what does that say about the state of our democracy? In a way, there already has been a coup in this country, but it’s been a silent coup. And it reminds me of that famous line from the great movie The Usual Suspects. At the end of it, Kevin Spacey’s character says the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. In many ways, a coup has happened, and the brilliance of it is that it’s not sparking major uprisings because we’ve been pacified and taught to just accept this as how things work. We have two parties in this country, the minimum wage is going to be the minimum wage, and corporations are in control, and these wars are fought in our name, but without our consent.

BOB HERBERT: And the flipside of who benefits is the suffering that is so tremendous out there among the warriors who have been sent over to fight these wars since late 2001. And so, you just have hundreds of thousands of people who have—men and women, who have come back from the combat zones, who have terrible, disabling injuries, who are going to have to be cared for—we have an obligation to care for them—in many cases, for the rest of their lives. We have to pay, as a society, to care for these folks. You know, it’s probably—Joe Stiglitz has estimated that now these wars are probably going cost cumulatively $4 trillion or more. None of this has been really explored clearly or properly explained to the American public.

JEREMY SCAHILL: You know, just a small sort of side point on this, you know, when we talk about the U.S. withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan, the conventional military, a story that very seldom gets attention is the connection between a paramilitarization of law enforcement inside of the United States and increasing use of what they call counterterrorism tactics on SWAT-style operations in the U.S. The military is donating a lot of its equipment to local police agencies and other so-called law enforcement agencies, and the communities that are most at risk here are communities of color and poor communities. Everything is about war—the war on drugs, the war on crime.


JEREMY SCAHILL: And war requires some kind of a militarized response. And that’s what we’re seeing. This is deeply connected to the wars abroad, the wars at home, as well.

BOB HERBERT: And this is actually going into our public schools, where you have that type of militarized behavior going on actually in public schools. That’s how you get the school-to-prison pipeline that people are talking about.

AMY GOODMAN: On Afghanistan, President Obama said, "If the Afghan government signs a security agreement that we have negotiated, a small force of Americans could remain in Afghanistan with NATO allies." But the latest news says the Pentagon has proposed up to 10,000 troops remaining behind, Jeremy.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Yeah, and if you look at what sort of various senior anonymous military officials have been saying for several years now, they’ve known that the withdrawal is not really going to be a withdrawal. Yes, we’re going to see the Marines pull out. We’re going to have this thing where journalists can ride on the tanks, like they did out of Iraq. But at the end of the day, this is an Afghanization of a U.S. policy. So, what’s going to happen is that you’re going to have these advise-and-assist squads of highly trained U.S. special ops and CIA personnel accompanying Afghan units, and they’re going to try to have the Afghans do the fighting and dying and killing on behalf of U.S. policy. But what I think should be of greater concern to the American public is that you are going to have these strike forces in place. It’s taken as conventional wisdom now that the U.S. is out of Iraq. Actually, the U.S. has a massive paramilitary presence inside of Iraq and is going to continue to have one inside of Afghanistan. So, these wars are going to continue on for at least another generation, albeit on a sort of covert, hidden-hand manner of doing it.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: But what’s the justification, Jeremy, for keeping troops in Afghanistan?

JEREMY SCAHILL: I mean, there is no counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan anymore. I mean, no one wants to talk about this, because you’re going to be accused of being sympathetic to the Taliban. The Taliban is not a terrorist organization with global aspirations. The Taliban has a constituency, has a greater constituency than the U.S., arguably than Hamid Karzai, who the U.S. recognizes as the president. And I think the Taliban is a morally reprehensible group of individuals, but they do have indigenous support. And the reason that they’re fighting right now is because the U.S. and NATO are in their country. And so, to sort of imply that what we’re doing there is countering terrorists, when in the first months of the Obama administration his own national security adviser said there are less than a hundred al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan, we should be asking that question that John Kerry asked in 1971: Who wants to be the last to die for this failed war? What do they tell the families of the soldiers who die from here until they pull out the conventional military?

[ Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. ]